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Cipher last won the day on January 2

Cipher had the most liked content!

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About Cipher

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  • Hobbies
    Writing, reading, art, playing the flute
  • Gender Identity
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  • Primary Identity
  • Kintypes
    Fallen angel
  • Shifting Experiences
    Mental Shifting
    Dream Shifting
    Phantom Shifting

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  1. Aaah I'm really enjoying the new emojis. Jethero, you've done an amazing job.
  2. Obviously, we never will know exactly what an animal thinks or what it feels like. We're simply interpreting our perception of the world based on what we can research about other animals, and it is by nature a human experience; just one that questions philosophically what it means to be human or nonhuman, and interprets personal experiences as being like those of something nonhuman, for however much we know of them. People who experience phantom or "ghostly" limbs of wolf paws or bat wings have an obvious nonhuman trait that they can look up and research. After that, it's moreso a journey of faith and self-understanding.
  3. Cipher

    Common Biases

    This is meant to touch on some common biases I see crop up a lot on tumblr, new otherkin, etc. Note that 'bias' doesn't necessarily mean a heavily slanted extreme opinion, but often just an illogical opinion that an argument should not be based on if it wishes to stand firm. Bias is building the house on sand, so to speak. Definitions taken from Wikipedia, but these are quite common definitions you should find in any psychology textbook or scientific research manual. My additional comments are added in [bracketed italics], and any sections I find particularly relevant are underlined. Confirmation bias - the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions. In addition, individuals may discredit information that does not support their views. [I feel like this is a major problem for the otherkin community.] Self-serving bias - The tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests. Anchoring - The tendency to rely too heavily, or "anchor", on one trait or piece of information when making decisions (usually the first piece of information that we acquire on that subject). Anthropomorphism - The tendency to characterize animals, objects, and abstract concepts as possessing human-like traits, emotions, and intentions. [One of the most common biases I see in the community, for obvious reasons. Do animals experience emotion? Yes, but we cannot call it by human terms or claim that animal personalities are similar to our own, because we do not have a window into their minds that tells us exactly what they are thinking.] Bandwagon effect - The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Curse of knowledge - When better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people. [I'm including this because I do see a lot of older folks being very aggressive in their correction of misinformation. I understand that having been in the community for such a long time, it is aggravating to see history repeat itself and definitions become more and more twisted plus humans are just plain stubborn all the time, but I don't know, maybe because I'm newer I still have an idealist idea of a gentle approach? ALSO please don't take this to mean I'm talking about anyone specifically, just that this is something I do see in general.] Focusing effect - The tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event. [Dreams are a good example. I may be a dragon in one part of a dream, but the same dream may also contain me riding a rainbow through the castle.] Stereotyping - Expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual. [Anti-kin obviously do this a lot, but it can also apply to stereotyping certain creatures based on assumed traits, such as "all angels are sweet and good" or "all demons are violent and angry".] Subjective validation - Perception that something is true if a subject's belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences.
  4. Winter is one of the best times to see the Northern Lights if you live or travel in the right area, because of how long each day is dark for (although the fall and spring equinoxes are the peak moments). Because of this, I've been seeing a major uptick in aurora photos from all the nature blogs I follow. For me, my reaction to the aurora is definitely an alterhuman thing. I have this feeling/memory regarding them, that the streets in heaven were kind of empty at that hour of night because heaven is full of wimps extremely diurnal beings so I would stay up and walk out there alone just to experience them. They come dancing down among the buildings, bathing everything in light, and flow out past the edges of that place and down into the real sky of the earth. The sounds they make are their own music, and I could trail my fingers through them, change their shape and watch them curl away in spirals that crackled and snapped, fly through them. And that at the moment of choosing to Fall I saw them and it seemed like they were pulling me with them out past heaven and down into the world. The feeling they give me here is powerful, one of beauty and nostalgia in a way they makes me both achingly sad and inspired at the same time. So when I think "light-bringer", I think of the Northern Lights and darkness instead of sunlight. It would feel absolutely wrong for me to say something like "Lucifer was bright and sunshine and God's Favorite" because to me that's not...exactly it. Honestly, I think my interpretation and assumption of the name comes less from my "angelic role" and more from the time I was created, which with the symbolism of Venus and all is just before dawn, aka the darkest hour. A while ago I made some simple art to try and capture this feeling/memory and sentiment, pairing an image with some of the lyrics from the song Dear Wormwood by The Oh Hellos.
  5. I was walking around my house today and had to pause for a moment, put my hand on something to steady myself, because suddenly my wings felt more present than usual, off-balancing me.
  6. Ah, interesting! I haven't done too much research into our specific hunting details; not sure what we qualify as pests besides coyotes or if we have similar laws. I do know that bow hunting season starts and ends at a different time than gun hunting season for different game (like, bow hunting turkeys versus bow hunting deer). They might overlap, I'm not sure. The only alternative weapons I know are banned are like. Blowguns. But that's in general, you couldn't use those to hunt I don't think. In my opinion and based on what I've read, bow hunting ethics-wise is about the same as gun hunting (any unnecessary suffering is caused the same way in both cases - a misplaced shot, other than that hunting bows are powerful enough to match a gun). I know I personally don't like guns because they're loud and I guess I...idk trust them less than a bow? That preference might be a kintype thing, I think. Newfangled loud aggressive technology *shakes fist at sky* and I know they've been around a good few hundred years but meh. Definitely no shortage of places to learn how to do archery or shoot a gun here, lol. I actually got certified to teach archery to kids earlier in the year.
  7. I would like to switch to a local/personally-hunted meat diet myself. I wouldn't mind farmed meat if it was from a local (ie, not factory) farm/butcher or like, if I raised my own chickens and used some for meat myself kind of thing. However, my family never grew up hunting or farming (beyond a veggie garden in the summer) and we've lived around pretty annoying/not-good-people who hunted so it would be a big learning curve for me (on the upside, I know plenty of people in the area who hunt). Personally though I would like to bow hunt rather than use a gun. How does hunting work in the UK? I know here in the US everyone just goes to DMV or the local game department for their fish/game licenses but then they can just go buy a gun at the outdoor sports store and get on with it during hunting season. How does it work for you?
  8. Yeah, I get that sometimes too because of my specificity as Lucifer. When I talk about my phantom shifts, some people have asked things like "harpies have a similar shape, have you looked into them?" or "are you sure you're not a dragon or another mythical creature like a griffin?" Fortunately, I'm in a very comfortable and relaxed place with my identity most of the time, and I have a ton of writing about myself that I have saved. My answer to that "are you SURE you're not [x]?" question tends to be an easy dismissal. I usually say something along the lines of "That would be nice and simple, but while I do love dragons, that's really as far as it goes and no deeper." Because dragons, for example, just aren't me. Have I done meticulous research on them and compared them to my experiences? Eh, no, because I feel I have no reason to. If you don't feel anything towards a certain animal and clearly don't identify as it, that should really be all someone else needs to know. Just a "meh, interesting, thought about it, not me." I haven't really gotten push-back after that. I've got plenty of other experiences and detailed things that just keep building and building throughout my life, and I find that when people ask me the most basic "are you sure" questions, it's dull. Like y'all, I've long since moved on from that stage of questioning and you're still hung up at the beginning.
  9. Cipher

    Daydream believer

    I don't use a pendulum either, I personally don't really believe that much in them, but because I have been trying to find a path for my spirituality that involves more of a craft and ritual aspect, I have been going around looking up info and watching videos. One person I was looking at is of the belief that a pendulum is meant to express your unconscious truth, as if your heart knows the right answer and therefore you are supposed to be subconsciously moving the pendulum towards the answer your inner self knows to be true. It was an interesting interpretation that I appreciated, because it acknowledged the fact that pendulums respond to subtle, unconscious movements, but suggested that it was the entire point of the tool.
  10. A recently-published academic article on otherkin, focusing specifically on the community as it appears on Facebook. The researcher spent 5 years conducting research and working alongside the community in and around these groups, and the article explores the concept of "scientistic self", or rationalizing your subjective experiences through scientific method or processes, as well as the steps otherkin Facebook groups take to police their community. It seems unbiased, well-researched, and easy to understand.
  11. Oh yeah! I would also like that feature back if possible.
  12. So, as I mentioned in my reflection on 3 years entry, recently I discovered that I do, in fact, believe I can have memories from Lucifer. Obviously nothing in the parallel overlap, but recent experience has opened me to the possibility that the rest of that longer history is available to me in this life. Honestly, memories are one of those experiences that I have always been highly skeptical of. I know myself, my imagination, and I can easily recognize the differences between that and getting them mixed up with a memory of another time and place. So when I did suddenly get a memory of another time and place, my brain tried to panic. I'm not comfortable sharing the exact details of that memory at this time (suffice to say that it took place during the process of my Fall), but afterwards I immediately recognized the differences between it and my imagination. I experienced it as a flashback, triggered by an emotional mental shift. It happened in the middle of the day, when I was awake, not tired or in a dream. I was lying down, because I do that sometimes to process the emotions I end up feeling during a mental shift. I'm glad that I was in that position, because the experience was frightening and sudden. As I was thinking, processing my emotions, suddenly something changed. I was frozen in place, and images I could not control overrode what I had been imagining and thinking about. It shifted into first person, and the memory itself lasted maybe 10-15 seconds, lacking sound, just full of emotion and clear images. In my state of temporary paralysis, my brain was on fire in the background, screaming at me that this couldn't be real, I didn't want it to be real, fueling a fear towards the memory even though the idea of it had not scared me before. When I could move again, I was troubled, still in a strong mental shift, and quickly wrote down everything that I had seen and felt in and after the moment. My handwriting was altered, and it took a conscious, slow effort to write in my usual handwriting. I have other examples of normal handwriting from when I got up in the middle of the night and wrote down a dream, so I know what my handwriting looks like even when it is scribbled fast and in a half-asleep state. This was not that. Even now, almost a month after this experience, I still find myself constantly shifty and still thinking about it. I never sought out the memory, I am not interested in actively seeking out more. I would prefer that Lucifer's major emotional baggage stayed on his side of the line, but seeing as that's apparently not the case, it also has me vaguely worried for the future. I know my other self, and I know (even if I don't actively remember) that there are many memories I don't want back. This has been thoughts from a shifty Lucifer.
  13. Picking up with another reflection after three years of being part of the otherkin community and fully embracing my identity as Lucifer. My first forum account was on Kinmunity, created September 6, 2015. Throughout my time there and elsewhere in the community, I have grown tremendously in my understanding of self, and I continue to make new discoveries to this day. Many of my new thoughts have all happened recently. Last week, I took a risk and told a real-life friend over Facebook messenger about my nonhuman identity, including all of the specifics up to being Lucifer. Not only was he incredibly accepting, he was unsurprised. He saw in my behavior and personality as a human the traits that marked me as other, as old. It is eye-opening to be able to have someone you know comment on how your true self comes across when you least expect it to be there. I have also discovered and had to adapt into my beliefs that I think I do and can experience memories of my Lucifer self. Although I have nothing from the parallel, and I suspect remembering what he is doing now would be asking far too much, I understand a key moment at the point of my Fall. Although it was incredibly intense and frightening (what was more frightening was how calm I was after, I kept expecting to find my hands shaking when they were dead still), it was a welcome new experience. Overall, over the years, more than homesickness I find myself being…person-sick. There are people I miss from that life, that I want to talk to and interact with but cannot. My friends, my advisors, those that I trust the most. In my human friends I have companionship and trust, but the complete, absolute undying loyalty and bond between me and my demon lords represents a kind of tie that is immortal and full of emotion. Shared experience, shared pain, that I do not have with anyone I know now. And while people may have a general understanding of the emotions I talk about, empathize to an extent, they cannot speak to it like someone like Malphas could (for reference, I believe Malphas is to Lucifer as Gandalf is to Frodo). As I enter my fourth year of fully coming to terms with this identity, I can only hope for greater peace, greater introspection, and potentially more memory as I grow in my spirituality and beliefs.